[Opening view of a large complex of buildings. They are grey and functional
in appearance. Several Federation guards are wandering about. The camera follows one of them as he approaches the front of
the main installation. One of the thick metal doors is standing open. Its heavily dented twin is lying on a pile of rubble
at the side. The marks of an explosion can clearly be seen on the surrounding walls. The guard enters the building. Cut to
the Liberator flying rapidly through space. View then switches to show the interior, a recreation room with a bar. Vila is
leaning on the edge of the bar with a glass in his hand and an empty bottle next to him. Mags enters the room and he waves
VILA: Come in, have
a drink! Just toasting the departed.
at the bottle] It's empty.
VILA: There's a lot
of them to toast.
MAGS: I know.
VILA: Don't panic...there's
another bottle around here somewhere, unless I already...[he raises another empty bottle]...drank it. Sorry.
MAGS: I'm worried
about you Vila.
VILA: Me! Why? I'm
wonderful, handsome, talented...couldn't be happier!
MAGS: That's what
I'm worried about. You're only happy when you're drunk.
VILA: Nothing wrong
with a good drink! Warms the blood, clears the mind, strengthens the constituent...um consistent...um
VILA: Yeah, that too.
MAGS: It doesn't though,
does it Vila? Take it from one who knows...you can't drink to forget.
[She walks across the room and flops wearily into a chair.]
MAGS: I've tried it
himself] I dream about them, dying, over and over again...always too late...I don't dream when I'm drunk.
MAGS: I know...I've
used booze for all the wrong reasons and believe me Vila, I've tried hundreds of reasons. In the end it comes down to one
simple fact; you shouldn't drink because you need to, you should drink because you want to. At the moment I don't think you
really want to.
[Vila suddenly looks confused and very miserable.]
MAGS: Talk to me Vila,
I've been there. If you don't face your nightmares, eventually they'll destroy you.
[Scene cuts to Nial, sitting alone in his ship. It is stationary within the
Liberator's hold. He is staring blankly out of the viewing window but is unaware that he is doing so. The computer bleeps
TRISTAN: Nial, do
you wish to talk?
NIAL: No. [He pauses
for a long moment] I thought I was invincible. I believed it was so simple; assume command, make decisions, give orders.
I never realised how much responsibility it carried with it.
TRISTAN: I am here
to advise you, if you need me.
NIAL: Thanks Tris
but I had plenty of advice...I just didn't listen. [He screws his face up in pain.] He tried to warn me. He said we
had to work as a team. I thought I knew best, I was the leader. I was in charge...but I wasn't in control.
TRISTAN: There is
no leader in a true team.
NIAL: Yes, I understand
that now but it won't bring Tam back. I killed him Tris...as surely as Avon killed Blake. I couldn't forgive Avon for his
mistake, how can I ever forgive myself for mine?
TRISTAN: It is human
to make mistakes Nial.
NIAL: We are fighting
a ruthless war, I can't afford to be human.
TRISTAN: I do not
understand the previous statement. You are human. You cannot choose to be otherwise.
NIAL: Sorry Tristan.
Sometimes you seem so real that I forget you're a computer.
TRISTAN: I am as you
instructed me to be. Do you wish to reprogram?
NIAL: Not you, no...[he
frowns thoughtfully and leans back in his chair]...but perhaps it's time to make some adjustments in my own programming.
[Scene shifts to flight deck. Tegan and Soolin are present. They are standing
together looking at one of the consoles.]
SOOLIN: ...that one,
I think. [In sudden frustration] Oh I don't know. It's too confusing. Gun fighting is about skill, instinct and speed.
This is about memorising what a bunch of numbers mean and which buttons to push, there's no talent involved!
TEGAN: This is only
the groundwork Soolin. It is boring, and confusing but once you take control of a ship you'll understand the purpose in learning
SOOLIN: Zen can operate
all those things on his own. What is the point in having a computer and not letting it do the menial work?
TEGAN: There isn't
one...but you won't be piloting the Liberator. Nial has agreed to let you fly Reverence...without Tristan on line.
TEGAN: Well, you won't
be alone but it's as close to real flying as you can get these days. Now do you see the need to know which buttons to push?!
[Soolin looks stunned but nods and returns to studying the console. Cut to
one of the corridors. Nial approaches a door, hesitates, half turns away but then takes a deep breath and knocks. It slides
open to reveal Avon who seems surprised to see Nial.]
NIAL: Can we talk?
I might be busy.
NIAL: Then I might
[He makes no move to go however and after a pause, Avon gestures him in. Inside
the room he offers Nial a chair but no further hospitality. Nial sits down and waits for Avon to do likewise before he speaks.]
NIAL: I'll make this
as brief as I can.
AVON: It would be
briefer if you got straight to the point.
his teeth] You and I were never supposed to be enemies. Blake intended us to work together, not to fight for control of
AVON: What are you
proposing we do, declare a truce? Isn't it a little late for that.
NIAL: Maybe but I'm
prepared to try, if you are. Think about it Avon...together we could survive, individually we'll probably end up fighting
each other to the death. Haven't you seen enough death for one lifetime?
haunted] What about Blake?
I've learnt a very painful lesson since we 'discussed' your mistake. I won't say I forgive you but at least I am halfway to
understanding your actions...and that is all I am willing to say on the subject.
[Avon nods and seems to be considering something.]
AVON: You accused
me of treachery, do you still believe that?
NIAL: Can you disprove
AVON: Should I have
NIAL: You have been
acting secretive and you've spent a lot of time alone with Orac. I know I'm not much company but I'd like to think I was preferable
to that cantankerous computer.
smiling] Orac has never been a companion of choice. However, it is undoubtedly the most useful companion I have ever had
the misfortune to be stuck with. Present company included.
a dry tone] Thanks. Are you going to tell me what you've been up to...or do I have to guess?
[Avon smiles enigmatically and finally chooses to sit down. Nial watches him
with open curiosity. Cut to the planet Yethanol; rebel base. Further Federation troops have arrived and the place is now teeming
with activity. The last of the outlaws are escorted from the building to a waiting shuttlecraft. After a short pause it lifts
off and rises rapidly into space. View shifts back to Avon and Nial.]
AVON: Do you remember
I asked you a series of questions, back on Goma?
NIAL: About the Liberator.
AVON: And about the
NIAL: Go on.
AVON: It occurred
to me that we were not all wearing Liberator bracelets.
NIAL: So the Scorpio
ones are compatible, so what?
AVON: They do not
contain the same components.
NIAL: Really? Now
that is interesting. How did Zen manage to pick you up then?
AVON: My investigation
has led to the conclusion that it was due to the setting on the teleport inducer.
NIAL: ...because I
set it to pick up anything transferable, on a wide band frequency.
AVON: Do you see the
NIAL: We have to be
careful or we'll end up with hitchhikers?
If we can gather enough of the raw materials required, we can produce devices which will enable us to teleport anything we
choose, from any location, at any time. Eliminating the need for an exact fix on the current co-ordinates.
NIAL: A sort of teleport
AVON: Precisely. We
merely attach the device and then sit back while Zen creates a wide enough field to transport the object.
NIAL: The teleport
bay might need adjusting.
AVON: I've been working
on that. We now have a second bay, large enough to accommodate almost anything.
[Nial gapes at him in disbelief and Avon holds his stare with dry amusement.]
NIAL: Where did you
AVON: Down on level
one, near the main cargo hold.
NIAL: No wonder you
suggested we use the secondary hold for the Rev! Hang on though, are you sure these things will work? What if it was a fluke
that you weren't vaporised on pick up?
AVON: The alternative
had occurred to me. That is why I completed an extensive examination of the teleport system before I began this project. No
malfunctions were registered and everything appears to have operated within normal capacities. Therefore, I see no reason
to assume that the process cannot be repeated.
NIAL: Great, now all
we have to do is collect the raw materials to make the beacons with...as soon as we've penetrated the base on Yethanol and
reclaimed our secret weapon, restored our shining reputation and given the Federation enough problems to keep them occupied
for the next couple of centuries!
AVON: And what will
we be doing tomorrow?
[They both manage a wry smile. The atmosphere is not exactly friendly but
there is an air of acceptance and a thawing of hostilities. Cut to the flight deck- Mags, Vila and Garus are chatting. There
is much laughter and exaggerated arm waving from Garus. Vila looks incredulous and Mags appears embarrassed.]
MAGS: It didn't happen
quite like that.
VILA: It's true?!
MAGS: Most of it yes
but don't believe everything Cray tells you. He does have a habit of exaggerating...and embellishing...his tales. [She
grins at him] It's good to see you again Garus.
GARUS: You too Maggie,
I've missed your homebrew. There was nothing on Lyriall that even came close to being a decent tipple!
MAGS: I'm sure you
tried hard to find one though.
GARUS: You know me,
always ready to accept hospitality.
MAGS: Especially from
the female of the species...and I have heard that you aren't picky about which species.
GARUS: I love 'em
[Vila seems impressed and Mags laughs.]
MAGS: You two can
swap stories later, we need to get back to discussing the plan first. We've still got a few kinks to work out before we can
brief the others and we're running out of time.
Liberator is approaching orbit range of the planet Yethanol. Further instructions are now required.
MAGS: Damn, I should've
kept my mouth shut.
GARUS: Quick, make
a note of that Vila! I'll bet she never admits to it again, Mags has a habit of dishing out advice by the barrel load.
VILA: Most of it's
[The others look at him in surprise and then Mags pats him gently on the shoulder.]
MAGS: I hope so because
I'm beginning to get quite fond of you Vila.
GARUS: Watch out pal,
she's on the lookout for husband number six!
[Cray dodges as Mags tries to thump him and they both laugh. Vila is smiling,
he looks more relaxed than he has in a long time. In the midst of their gaiety, Nial wanders in with Avon. Soolin and Tegan
are close behind.]
MAGS: Nial! That was
good timing, I was just about to call you up here.
NIAL: I assume we've
arrived then. [She nods] Right on schedule. I hope you've got a battle-plan worked out.
GARUS: More or less.
NIAL: Good. Wait a
minute while I give Zen his orders, then we'll go through it.
[He walks across to check one of the consoles.]
NIAL: Zen, has the
cloaking device been activated?
ZEN: All previous
instructions have been completed.
NIAL: I'll take that
as a yes.
AVON: Cloaking device?
NIAL: Apparently it
keeps us invisible to everything except a detailed scan.
AVON: I know. I built
it into the defence system myself...before it was destroyed.
NIAL: You must have
modified the ship so well that Zen accepted it as an integral part of the Liberator and rebuilt it.
AVON: That's not possible.
A start-up program by definition cannot include later adaptations.
NIAL: But it did.
Maybe Zen is able to choose what and who, to remember.
[Avon frowns and suddenly seems unsure of his ground.]
NIAL: Zen, you will
have to manoeuvre the Liberator to keep it off the close range scan of any approaching ships but within teleport distance
of the planet.
NIAL: Okay. Mags,
Vila, Garus...which one of you would like to fill us in on the plan?
[The surface of Yethanol. Avon, Tegan and Mags are crouched behind a rocky
ridge at the top of an embankment overlooking the base complex. Tegan is fidgeting impatiently and Avon seems bored. Mags
is concentrating her attention on the base.]
TEGAN: How much longer?
MAGS: Another thirty
minutes or so should do it. No one's used that tunnel in years, there may have been a cave-in or two. We have to give them
time to reach the base before we start causing trouble.
TEGAN: I wish we could've
used a signal system.
AVON: Through a building
shielded as a missile silo. What do you suggest they do, ask the nearest guard to give us a wave?
TEGAN: You really
enjoy making yourself unpopular don't you?
a warning tone] Tegan, Avon is as bored as you are and I'm getting fed up with the pair of you sniping at each other to
TEGAN: Sorry Mags
but you know how I hate hanging around.
MAGS: Then spend your
time working out the best way to bring half the hillside down on that base.
[The shot pans round and zooms in for a close up of the base. Federation guards
are busy patrolling and/or loading debris onto large trucks. Scene switches to show Nial, Vila and Garus in a narrow tunnel.
It is illuminated by a small lamp carried by Vila.]
VILA: There it was
again! Listen...[they hear a soft scuffling sound]...I told you I wasn't imaging things.
NIAL: It's only a
VILA: Rats, agh! What
do you mean 'probably'?
GARUS: Oh we found
all sorts of odd things down here when we moved in. That's partly why we bricked up this tunnel.
VILA: You don't have
to sound so cheerful about it.
NIAL: Just hold the
lamp steady Vila and keep moving.
VILA: Is it much further?
I've got rocks in my boots and the dust is bringing on my asthma.
GARUS: I didn't know
you were asthmatic.
NIAL: Only when it
suits him. Stop moaning Vila, this is the easy bit.
VILA: I can't understand
how the Federation let you get away with building this. It wouldn't rate highly in my secret hideout handbook...[He assumes
an upper class accent]...Ah yes, the rebel base. Open plan, huge complex, just down the valley there, you can't miss it!
NIAL: Most of it was
built quite legitimately by the mining corporation. They were Federation controlled so they were allowed to do more or less
as they pleased. When the precious metals were mined out, they moved out. After a decent interval, we moved in. A few alterations
and it became an installation secure enough to enable us to work on new projects in relative safety.
voce] Relative to what?
NIAL: Did you say
VILA: Um, yes...if
the Federation built them then they know about the tunnels, they could be here at any minute. We should leave now, while we've
got the chance.
[Garus treads on a loose stone and Vila nearly jumps out of his skin.]
NIAL: Relax, we're
safe enough down here. The mining operation was a typical Federation rush job, no doubt to avoid any local restrictions. It
was pushed through so quickly that they didn't even bother filing a plan. We found most of the tunnels by trial and error.
There are no maps for them.
VILA: You mean we
could be lost down here?!
NIAL: No...at least
not while Cray's with us.
There, up ahead! I think we've reached the right spot.
[They move forward till the light shines on a bricked up alcove to their left.
There are faint markings scratched into one of the bricks and Garus runs his fingers across them.]
GARUS: This is it
Nial. This one opens onto the maintenance section. As long as Vila can get us through there, we should have a clear run to
the weapon silo.
NIAL: He'd better
work fast, it took longer than I expected to get here and first we have to take out all these bricks.
VILA: All of them!
NIAL: We may have
to leave in a hurry and I'd rather not get stuck squeezing through a hole with several hundred Troopers on my tail.
[He puts down his backpack and takes various digging tools out of it. Garus
appears eager to begin but Vila looks sick at the thought. View switches back to the exterior of the base. Avon and Mags are
levering rocks into place at the top of the embankment whilst Tegan keeps watch.]
MAGS: I hope that's
enough for a small landslide. We need to create a diversion but without burying the place.
AVON: It's mainly
loose scree, the rocks should travel quickly without triggering a complete avalanche.
TEGAN: It's almost
time. The guards are coming round to the front again.
[Avon and Mags scramble back under cover as Tegan prepares to launch the largest
rock. It has been pre-balanced on a nearby ledge and she grunts with effort as she levers it loose and watches it roll towards
the other rocks. Down below, a Federation truck arrives. The noise from its engine covers the initial sound of the landslide
but as it is switched off the guards become suddenly aware of their danger. There is a mad dash for safety and the truck is
abandoned to its fate. Up above, Tegan, Mags and Avon are making themselves scarce. They run along a dirt track, through a
gully and head for the hills surrounding the rear of the complex. The scene cuts back to Nial and his team who are now inside
the building. They are approaching the entrance to a short corridor.]
GARUS: There's another
trap coming up. Once we reach the middle of the corridor the doors will seal. If the correct code isn't entered into the hidden
panel in time, the vents will release sonovapour and the system will alert the guards to our presence. How fast can you work
VILA: How long have
GARUS: Four minutes.
VILA: No problem.
GARUS: Did I mention
that the panel will need breaking into before you can begin to crack the code?
VILA: I suppose next
you're going to tell me that I need to find it first.
suddenly] No, I know where it's hidden. Wouldn't want to make things too difficult for you buddy!
Oh that's a relief, for a moment there I was starting to get worried.
GARUS: Did I say four
minutes? Silly me...I meant two.
[Nial and Garus grin at each other. Vila looks rather less pleased. Cut back
to Avon, Tegan and Mags. They are catching their breath in a sheltered quarry.]
MAGS: That was a stroke
of luck. Hopefully they'll think they set it off with their own vehicle.
TEGAN: And if not,
at least we've put one of their trucks out of action. Shame those two guards got away in time.
AVON: We are here
to cause confusion, not assassinate people.
MAGS: Avon's right.
We don't want them to realise they're under attack, not yet anyway.
So what's our next move then?
grimly] I thought perhaps a small fire...
AVON: That should
get their attention.
MAGS: ...next to the
TEGAN: Well you got
my attention! What are we waiting for? Let's go.
[She strides away. The others begin to follow her and Mags puts a hand gently
on Avon's arm.]
MAGS: Don't judge
her too harshly Avon. Her ex-husband was a Federation officer. One day he put his career before his family...she lost both
[Before he can reply she hurries onwards and he is forced to rush to keep
up. Cut back to Garus and Vila loitering together. Nial is nowhere to be seen. There is a sudden noise behind them and Garus
whips round with his gun raised.]
NIAL: Don't shoot!
VILA: I wish you wouldn't
creep up on us like that, it's bad for my nerves.
GARUS: You managed
to get round in a loop then? I guess I owe you twenty credits. Damn, I was sure it wasn't possible.
NIAL: Keep your money,
I cheated. I had to get up in the roof space and crawl for most of the journey. You were right, we can't bring the weapon
round that way.
GARUS: We'll have
to stick to Mags original plan and cut a connecting tunnel through from the silo.
NIAL: Provided we
can manage to take control of the area. From what I've seen, there may be more guards here than I counted on.
GARUS: We still have
the element of surprise.
Yeah, they'd hardly expect three people to be stupid enough to attack an army.
NIAL: Then they'll
probably be so surprised that we'll have beaten them before they even realise we're serious!
[He sets off down a corridor and the others follow him. It ends at a wide
door with green markings on. He signals for them to approach cautiously.]
a low voice] Once we go through here you'll have to remain silent till we pass the exit door. Any noise will trigger the
mechanism to release sections of the floor at random. It's a fifty metres or so plunge down a mineshaft. It doesn't look a
pleasant way to die.
GARUS: I wondered
where I'd put that trap!
VILA: I'm sure if
I designed something so deadly I'd remember where I left it.
GARUS: Life is just
a game Vila. If you know where all the traps are, you loose the thrill of adventure, the excitement...
VILA: The danger.
[Garus laughs quietly and claps him on the back. Nial frowns at them both
and then begins to silently ease the door open. They enter and move with painstaking slowness across the long room. The atmosphere
becomes tense and Vila stifles a nervous cough. One floor panel suddenly drops away and they speed up frantically. When they
finally exit through the far door they are all sweating with stress.]
VILA: I hope we're
not going back that way.
NIAL: Not a chance.
[Pointing to a heavy security door.] Go and work your magic on that door Vila. We need to get into the main building
and then fight our way to the weapon silo.
VILA: I don't suppose
I could change my mind about going back?
No, not a chance.
[Vila moves to the door, opens a flap on it, fiddles about for a few seconds
and then turns to wave the others across.]
VILA: Easy, for a
man of my skill.
NIAL: Can we applaud
quietly? This section was bursting with guards earlier.
[Vila cautiously swings the door open as Nial and Garus leap through, their
guns at the ready...to be met by an empty corridor. The silence is unnerving and they stare around in confusion.]
NIAL: I don't understand.
Where is everyone?
GARUS: Perhaps the
canteen's open now.
VILA: That sounds
like a good idea, I'm starving. [Nial gives him an odd look] Well I did miss lunch.
NIAL: Next time we'll
pack sandwiches okay? Can we just get a move on while it's quiet!
[They follow him as he speeds away, guns still poised for action. Scene cuts
to an exterior shot of the rear of the base, the fuel dump. A fire is raging out of control nearby, fed by leakage from the
dump. Teams of guards are running back and forth trying to stem the flames. Other groups are desperately trying to remove
barrels of fuel whilst still more are building fire-blocks. Extra guards keep arriving to give their help in the attempt to
prevent an explosion. From a safe distance away, Avon, Mags and Tegan are watching with interest.]
MAGS: I didn't think
it would spread so quickly, I almost feel sorry for them.
AVON: It seems to
be true what they say about 'playing with fire'.
TEGAN: Serves them
right. They started it by stealing our project.
MAGS: I just hope
we've given Nial enough space to steal it back in.
TEGAN: There must
be over half the squad out here by now! We've certainly evened things up for him.
MAGS: That's all we
can do, besides pray for a successful mission.
Pray! We make our own success in this world.
at Mags] I'm inclined to agree with her on that.
MAGS: Well that's
the first thing you two have agreed on so far! Perhaps on that harmonious note we should take a break and contact Soolin with
our report. It's about time we let her know what's going on down here. Avon, do you want to do the honours?
AVON: Why not. [Into
bracelet] Liberator, this is Avon.
About time! I thought you were having so much fun down there you'd forgotten all about me.
How could we have fun without your warm and cheerful presence?
Niceties from you Avon, make me feel about as warm and cheerful as a poisonous snake. Perhaps you'd better get on with the
[Flight deck of the Liberator. Soolin is leaning against a console listening
to Avon's voice through the comm channel.]
...enough to keep the Federation busy whilst Nial completes his side of the operation, if he can.
com] He can and he will. Just make sure that you don't get caught. I'm in no condition to mount a rescue mission on my
AVON: I am always
careful, don't waste your concern.
com] I wasn't concerned...it was a friendly warning. Out.
[She cuts the connection and sits down in the nearest flight chair. She seems
bored and soon begins to drum her fingers on the console.]
ORAC: A coded message
has been directed to my circuits. The transmission was inferior and its origins are indecipherable. What do you wish me to
do with it? It is taking up valuable space and I must insist on an immediate decision.
SOOLIN: Can you decode
ORAC: Of course I
can! It is a simple numerical system, well below my capabilities.
SOOLIN: Then give
me the message Orac! Is that simple and immediate enough for your capabilities?
It is now logged in the ships memory bank. I have instructed Zen to relay it. The process is more suited to a lesser machine.
SOOLIN: Stop giving
yourself airs Orac. We've only your word that Zen is a lesser machine. I've often found that people who don't boast have more
to boast about than the ones who do. [She turns away from Orac] Relay the message please Zen.
[There is a brief pause then the audio channel fills with the sound of a sonorous
AUDIO: Crew of the
Liberator, greetings from Warlord Morgon of Phenox. I have a proposition for you. My people have proven immune to pylene 50
and our planet has been placed under Federation arrest. We wish to discuss an alliance, our secret in return for your assistance
to free ourselves from these oppressors. I believe we can reach amicable terms and I ask you to consider my offer with the
[There follows an interval of silence until finally Soolin grows impatient.]
SOOLIN: Is that it
ZEN: Confirmed. Message
has been relayed in entirety.
SOOLIN: Morgon must
be a proud man, I never heard a request for help worded quite like that before! Zen, do we have any information on the planet
ZEN: Information is
limited but available.
SOOLIN: Okay, give
me what you've got. It beats sitting around minding the ship. [She sighs deeply] It doesn't compare favourably to being
part of the action down there though. I hope they appreciate how lucky they are.
[Cut back to surface of Yethanol. Avon and Tegan are watching the fire. Mags
is drawing maps in the dirt with a stick.]
MAGS: Over here people!
This next move is a little complicated but it should work out well, if we get our timing right.
[Avon and Tegan begin to move as she gestures to them. Suddenly a twig snaps
in the woods behind. Avon immediately draws his gun but a
voice from the opposite side stops him in his tracks.]
I wouldn't do that if I were you.
[Avon turns to face a trio of Federation guards with their guns trained on
him. Three more guards emerge from the woods behind Mags. All of them have their weapons pointed at the group.]
your gun down, slowly...[Avon reluctantly complies]...and the rest of you. [Mags and Tegan follow suit.]
GUARD: You see sir,
I told you I saw movement in this area!
LEADER: Yes, well
done Mosley. I'll make sure you get a commendation for this.
[He turns to scowl threateningly at the rebels. Avon scowls back, Tegan looks
defiant and Mags seems quietly resigned to the predicament.]
LEADER: And as for
you...people...I'm sure you think this is all just a game. Unfortunately for you, I don't. Some of my men have been badly
scarred dealing with your arson attempt. You'll be disappointed to hear that you failed to ignite the fuel dump but that's
life...you win some, you lose some and you lost this one. [He snorts derisively] It was all rather pointless really.
Your friends are no longer here...literally in some cases. [Mags stiffens in shock but remains silent] We moved most
of them out the day we arrived but don't worry, I'll see to it personally that you're reunited with them, aboard a prison
ship. [To the guards] Take them back to the base and then widen the search in case any more of these vermin escaped
[Avon, Tegan and Mags are led away. The scene cuts back to Nial and team who
are sitting inside an inspection channel whilst Vila picks the lock on an exit hatch. He gives them a 'thumbs up' then moves
aside so Nial can ease the hatch open and peep out. Beyond is a computer room. A man and a woman in long white coats are working
together at a console. A guard is inside the room but his attention is on the transmitter he's listening to. Nial closes the
I can only see one guard but no doubt there's more of them outside the door. We'll have to take him down without a fuss or
they'll be in here before we can secure the room. On the plus side, I think we can rely on the technicians for help.
VILA: Not if they're
NIAL: They're not.
VILA: How can you
be sure? Just because they aren't wearing uniforms?! That doesn't prove anything...I never saw Servalan in uniform.
GARUS: That's an entertaining
thought. What sort of uniform did you have in mind?
NIAL: Stop encouraging
him Garus. Give me a bit of credit Vila, I don't always operate on guesswork.
VILA: That's comforting,
at least I think it is. [To himself] How often is 'not always'?
NIAL: One of those
technicians was with my original resistance group, he defected from the Federation.
VILA: Maybe he rejoined?
NIAL: Dalma? I doubt
it. [He pauses] We'll find out soon enough though won't we?
[He eases the hatch open once more and looks out. The guard is still oblivious
as Nial climbs stealthily into the room but glances up in shock as he realises he's about to be attacked. Luckily he chooses
to fight rather than raise the alarm. As he struggles to overpower Nial, Vila and Garus enter. Vila picks up a box from a
nearby desk and hits the guard across the side of his head. The man is dazed and releases Nial to turn on Vila. Garus punches
him in the face and he goes down without a sound.]
NIAL: Nice work, now
let's get that door locked before his friends decide to join us.
GARUS: I'll make him
comfortable, if I can find some rope.
[Nial retrieves his backpack from the inspection channel and hands Garus a
coil of rope from it. He then turns to deal with the door but it has already been secured by the two technicians.]
DALMA: Nial, it's
good of you to drop in.
How could I leave you in the hands of the Feds, you still owe me two hundred credits remember?
DALMA: I was hoping
you'd forgotten that. I'm a bit short at the moment, I put all my savings on a dead cert.
NIAL: And you lost.
[She advances towards them extending her left hand to show off an ornate ring
set with a large clear gemstone. Her smile lights up a beautiful oriental face, framed by long black hair held back in a loose
knot at the nape of her neck.]
DALMA: Let me introduce
my fiancée, Professor Kimling Chen.
KIMLING: Please, call
me Kim. [She takes his hand] It is an honour to meet you Nial Blake. I have heard much about your life.
NIAL: Thank you Kim
but if you're the same Professor Chen who pioneered the move to stop mutoid modification, then the honour is mine.
She's the most remarkable woman I ever met. It was Kim who developed the prototype for this project. All I did was help to
put it together.
NIAL: That brings
me to the reason for our visit. Vila, Garus and I are here to rescue the weapon...and yourselves of course.
Cray Garus, the man who designed the security measures for this place? [Garus nods cheerfully] No wonder you managed
to get this far!
[Vila coughs loudly and Garus thumps him on the back in a comradely fashion.]
GARUS: Of course we
couldn't have done it without my lock-picking friend here!
NIAL: Dalma, Kim...meet
Vila Restal. He was a member of Blake's legendary Liberator crew.
KIM: [Smiling warmly]
It is a pleasure to welcome a person as famous as yourself to our humble base.
delighted] Famous...yes I am aren't I and not without good reason. Let me tell you...
NIAL: Not now. Dalma,
before we take the weapon out of here I need to know where the prisoners are being held.
[Dalma and Kim exchange glances of regret.]
DALMA: The Federation
transported them all out. The only reason they left us here is because Kim destroyed the blueprints and they don't know which
of us designed the weapon.
VILA: But if it's
finished, why do they still need you?
KIM: They hoped to
force us to build more of the weapons, enough to supply all their fleets.
Every day another one of our friends is murdered. We receive vis-tapes of the executions...to persuade us to co-operate.
KIM: [Even more
quietly] We will never co-operate.
NIAL: Then the faster
we get out of here the better. [To Garus] Fetch the scanner, we need to find the point at which the silo is closest
to a mine tunnel. It's lucky that so many of them started out from the base itself. Let's hope we don't have to dig too far
to reach one.
VILA: More hard labour?!
I wish I'd gone with the others. Avon always gets the easy jobs. I bet he's lazing about in the sun right now.
[The scene cuts back to the other team. Three Federation guards are shoving
them along a narrow track through a valley. Suddenly a shout is heard and the guards are attacked. The battle is short and
soon the guards lie dead on the ground. The mystery attackers melt once more into the undergrowth leaving one man behind.
He levels his gun at the Liberator crew.]
MAN: What is your
AVON: What's yours?
MAN: My people have
you surrounded. If we like your answer we may let you live. This is your last chance...why are you here?
TEGAN: We're fighting
the Feds! So are you obviously, so what's your problem?!
quickly] What she means is, we seem to be on the same side so why are you threatening us?
MAN: Because I think
you might be the reason that the searches have suddenly been stepped up.
AVON: We may have
caused an amount of minor disruption.
MAN: You set the fire?
TEGAN: Yes we did.
MAN: It wasn't close
enough to the fuel dump.
It wasn't supposed to be.
MAN: A diversion...for
at his companions] Before we tell you anything else, I'd like to know what your purpose is.
MAN: You don't remember
me but we have met briefly, Kerr Avon. My name is Brac. I was one of Cauder's men, on Albion.
BRAC: Yes, if it wasn't
for you and Grant defusing that bomb I wouldn't be here now. In fact that's the only reason we helped, I felt I owed you a
MAGS: You mean if
you hadn't recognised Avon you'd have stood by and let the Feds take us?!
BRAC: We've learnt
not to interfere in the troubles of others. No one came to our aid when we were attacked.
TEGAN: What do you
think we're doing here stupid?
MAGS: We're from Goma
Brac, we came to liberate the rebels and reclaim the weapon.
Well you're too late. Half of our people were slaughtered after the battle, "as an example to dissidents everywhere". The
rest were shipped out...probably dumped in space as another 'example'. If you want that weapon you're welcome to it but don't
expect any more assistance from us.
[He strides away and is soon lost from view.]
TEGAN: Bunch of losers!
Some sister base they turned out to be.
AVON: Families are
often more a liability than a source of support.
TEGAN: How would you
know. I bet your own family disowned you years ago.
[She grabs a gun from the body of one of the guards and stamps away up the
track. Mags gives Avon a disappointed glance, retrieves her own gun and sets off after her friend. Avon actually manages to
look a little sheepish as he fetches himself a gun and slowly follows them. Action cuts back to the weapon silo. Part of the
metal panelling has been removed and the original wall can be clearly seen. Dalma and Garus are busy smashing a tunnel through
it. Vila is offering encouragement whilst checking the route on a scanner. Nial is in the computer room with Kim. They are
barricading the outer door with a pile of desks and equipment when someone thumps on it loudly.]
GUARD: This is Section
Leader Wood. I demand to know what is going on.
KIM: We have decided
not to work for the Federation.
WOOD: You have no
choice. Stop this foolish behaviour or your colleagues will suffer.
KIM: We are concerned
only for our own safety. We will allow no one access to this room until we have spoken to your president.
WOOD: The President!
Are you insane, I can't fetch him here on your whim! Look lady, open the door now and start co-operating with us and I'll
see that you both remain alive long enough to face trial. Then you can appeal to the President.
KIM: We refuse your
WOOD: Then stand clear
of the door...we'll blast our way in.
KIM: If you attempt
to do this, we will destroy the weapon. Fetch your president. Then we will talk.
WOOD: Damn revolutionaries.
[He pauses] You have one of my men in there. Let me speak to him.
KIM: He is unconscious
but otherwise unharmed. We will release him only when we have spoken to the Terran president.
[Wood bangs loudly on the door in frustration, then leaves. Nial gives a sigh
You've bought us some time at least. Whilst they think they're dealing with a mutiny, they won't be busy searching for intruders.
[Vila wanders in and Nial signals him to stay silent. They all walk through
to the silo.]
VILA: It's going to
take hours to dig through to the mines. Can't we just remove the rest of the panels and teleport the stuff out?
NIAL: Didn't you listen
to what Orac said? If we use the teleport it might damage some of the weapons vital components. The whole system could fail!
Maybe that doesn't bother you but I'd rather not take an unstable missile aboard the Liberator.
VILA: It was only
DALMA: Stop suggesting
and start digging Vila! I need a break.
[He hands his excavating tool to Vila and then sinks to the ground next to
Kim. Vila groans as he walks to join Garus who is whistling cheerfully while he works.]
DALMA: He's right
about one thing, it will take hours to tunnel through there.
NIAL: If you can think
of an easier way I'll be happy to hear it.
[Dalma shakes his head and Kim shrugs and smiles. View changes to show a small
rocky valley. Avon and Mags have finally caught up with Tegan.]
TEGAN: What now?
MAGS: I don't know
but whatever we decide, we'd better be careful. We've lost the advantage of surprise. Any suggestions Avon?
AVON: As a matter
of fact, yes.
[His communicator suddenly bleeps.]
Saved by the bell.
Avon! Are you there?
comm] Where else would I be?
Orac just picked up an urgent transmission from the base. It's for the personal attention of the Terran President.
MAGS: The President!
comm] Coded, I presume.
It's a new type. Without a current Federation cipher machine it could take months to unscramble.
comm] When did the message go out?
[There is a short pause. Mags is calm but obviously worried. Tegan appears
agitated and is fidgeting again.]
Almost twenty minutes ago.
AVON: Kind of you
to inform us so swiftly.
The delay was no choice of mine. Orac only just mentioned it! I don't think he wanted to admit he'd picked up a message he
Pride has always been one of Orac's more endearing qualities.
I never noticed that Orac had any endearing qualities.
AVON: Remote activation
of the teleport system?
I suppose that would count. I take it you want to come up.
AVON: I see no reason
to stay down here.
[Mags shakes her head but doesn't argue and the next instant they are enclosed
in the white glow of the teleport field and transported back to the ship. Avon immediately removes his bracelet and hurries
to the flight deck. The two women follow him. Soolin turns to face them all as they enter the room.]
SOOLIN: What did you
do to make them start shouting for the President?
AVON: Nothing. Which
means one of two possibilities; either they now have the weapon operational or...
MAGS: ...they have
Nial, Cray and Vila.
TEGAN: I don't care
much for either option.
SOOLIN: There could
be another explanation.
AVON: Such as?
SOOLIN: I don't know,
I just think that we shouldn't jump to conclusions.
to Soolin] While there's hope, we will not destroy that base.
AVON: Not until the
president of the Terran Federation is inside it.
TEGAN: Sounds good
to me. What time do you think he'll get here?
MAGS: Earth is a long
way off Tegan. With a little luck, we'll be finished here before the President even packs his bag and boards his ship.
AVON: Luck is an illogical
and unreliable concept.
SOOLIN: Is there a
point to that statement?
[Orac whirrs loudly]
ORAC: A reply transmission
has been issued from the Terran President. It is uncoded. I presume you wish me to relate it.
AVON: Of course.
ORAC: Very well. The
President is currently touring this sector. He is within a high-speed battle cruiser and will reach Yethanol in less than
[Avon smiles in an annoying 'told you so' fashion and Soolin frowns.]
SOOLIN: That doesn't
give Nial much time to get out if he is in trouble.
AVON: It was his plan.
MAGS: No, it was mine...and
if I have to, I'll go in alone before I accept that it's failed.
TEGAN: Not alone Mags.
I owe you too much to let you do that.
SOOLIN: And I owe
Nial. If you go it will be with me as back-up.
AVON: Very inspiring
but I will destroy that base regardless before I leave this sector.
MAGS: I understand,
as did Nial. He'd be pleased to know you were prepared to carry out his final orders.
AVON: It is not a
question of orders but of survival. The Liberator cannot outrun a missile which travels at standard by eighteen.
SOOLIN: How fast?!
MAGS: Didn't Nial
tell you why the secret weapon was so secret?
SOOLIN: But standard
by eighteen...is that possible?
TEGAN: At this moment
I hope not but we've got four hours to worry about it.
AVON: At that speed,
if they fire, we won't have any time to worry about it.
[They all drop silent. View switches to the weapon silo. Garus and Vila are
resting. Nial and Dalma are presumably digging. Kim walks through from the computer room.]
KIM: The guard is
conscious. He has agreed not to create disharmony, for his own sake and the sake of his descendants.
VILA: He has a family?
KIM: He wishes to
have, one day.
GARUS: How can someone
so beautiful sound so dangerous?
VILA: How can someone
with such a reputation say something so stupid?
GARUS: Don't mock
it Vila, you'd be surprised how often it works.
VILA: Not for me it
GARUS: Ah well, some
of us have it and some...are not as fortunate as myself. Don't worry about it Vila. Life is just a game, remember?
If only human beings would play by the rules...we might create a game worth winning.
[There is a sudden loud knock on the outer door of the computer room. The
three hurry through and Kim approaches the door.]
WOOD: You in there,
are you listening?!
KIM: We are listening
Section Leader Wood.
WOOD: You are an extremely
lucky pair of trouble causers. The President is already in this sector and he's agreed to speak with you.
KIM: We are honoured
by his courtesy.
WOOD: You will be,
in about three and half-hours. Use your time well lady. Pray to your ancestors or whatever it is you Orientals do because
I'm personally going to see to it that you and your boyfriend get a death sentence for this.
[He thumps in anger on the door then stamps loudly away. Vila and Garus release
the breath they didn't even notice they were holding and together with Kim, walk back into the silo.]
VILA: Three and a
half hours! I hope we're out of here by then. Section Leader Wood doesn't sound like the sort of man who'd be pleased to find
GARUS: Be fair, he
can see his chances of promotion slipping away, he's bound to feel aggrieved. Mind you, if he knew he'd got the famous Vila
Restal and the irresistible Cray Garus trapped in here...
VILA: And Nial Blake.
GARUS: Of course...I
think he'd be in a much better mood.
VILA: Oh good.
[Garus laughs and claps him on the back heartily.]
GARUS: Let's go and
do some more digging my friend. Bet you a whole bottle of Parthian rum that I'm the first to break through.
VILA: You've got a
bottle of that?! Why didn't you say so, I'd eat my way through the wall for one glass of that stuff!
[Back on board the Liberator, the crew are moving restlessly around the flight
The battle cruiser and three unidentified ships are now registering on long range scan.
SOOLIN: Visual please
[The ships waver into view on the main screen and everyone stares as the images
MAGS: It's got the
MAGS: Near side, above
the docking hatch.
TEGAN: Yeah, I see
it. The smaller ships must be a guard complement then.
AVON: That would be
SOOLIN: Probably the
Federation's latest design. Loaded with heavy artillery from the look of them.
AVON: Keep the Liberator
as far out of range as possible Zen. Let's hope they were chosen for combat and not tracking ability, we are ill equipped
to take on four war ships simultaneously.
TEGAN: At least we're
not in a planet-hopper.
[The others look at her in sudden realisation and Mags groans.]
MAGS: First we prayed
to spot the Reverence on our scanners at any minute...now we have to pray that we don't!
[The atmosphere grows tense as the crew watch the ships slowly approaching
Meanwhile, at the base, Nial and the others are back in the tunnel network.
They are all laden down with parts of the weapon system. A stack of missiles lashed onto a trolley, is being pulled along
slowly and carefully by Dalma and Garus.]
NIAL: I have to go
back and replace the panels.
DALMA: You'll never
find the way out without Garus.
NIAL: I don't have
any choice Dalma. If we leave it as it is, the Feds will be after us with tracking devices before we've got anywhere near
GARUS: If you can
make it back to the maintenance section, we could wait for you in the tunnel there. It's far enough from this section to be
safe but it shouldn't add too much distance to our exit route.
NIAL: If that's your
best option, I'll take it.
[He draws Garus to one side and lowers his voice.]
NIAL: At the first
sign of trouble, ditch the weapon and get the others to safety...don't wait for me. Soolin will destroy the base if necessary
and I don't want to be responsible for the deaths of any more of my friends.
[Garus nods and Nial heads back up the tunnel towards the faint patch of light
behind them. The others continue their slow progress onwards. Cut back to the Liberator.]
ZEN: The battle cruiser
has landed on Yethanol.
AVON: And the other
ZEN: The smaller ships
have remained in orbit. Do you require a visual?
AVON: No, just keep
track of their positions and inform us if they approach.
SOOLIN: What do we
do now Avon?
AVON: We wait.
TEGAN: For what, Armageddon?!
voce] Come on Nial...you're running out of time.
[In the mine tunnels; Vila is beginning to fret and the others look nervous
in the dim light. Garus peers through a hole in the brickwork once more then shakes his head.]
Come on Nial. Where is he? [Slightly louder] Maybe he got caught? That's it...he got caught! They're probably coming
for us right now. I don't like it, we should leave.
GARUS: I hate to say
this but Vila's right, we've waited as long as we can. Nial told me to get everyone out safely...I think it's time to do as
[They set off again reluctantly. The terrain is arduous and everyone seems
weary. Reaching the end of the straight section, they are about to turn down one of the many tunnel mouths when there is a
scrabbling noise behind them. Vila jumps in terror.]
It sounded very loud, for a rat. They aren't usually so careless.
VILA: Big rats!
DALMA: [To Garus]
Do you think it could be one of those...things?
GARUS: I hope not.
VILA: What things?
GARUS: I mentioned
them earlier. I told you we'd found, um, other things besides rats in here.
VILA: Yes but you
never said exactly what!
GARUS: Somehow I don't
really think you want to know the details Vila, not right now. Hurry everyone, down this tunnel. Douse the light Kim. We have
to keep still and silent and...hope it's not hungry.
[Everything goes black and the view shifts back to the Liberator flight deck.]
TEGAN: What time is
Almost ten minutes later than when you last asked me.
SOOLIN: This isn't
AVON: Neither is stating
SOOLIN: I'm going
down to look for them.
AVON: No, you are
going to clear the neutron blasters and take aim on that building.
SOOLIN: You aren't
in command any more Avon.
AVON: Then who is?
SOOLIN: Nial Blake.
AVON: And HIS orders
[Soolin scowls but does walk to the appropriate console.]
SOOLIN: Neutron blasters
are cleared, target is set. [She pauses coldly and deliberately] I will only fire when I choose to do so.
AVON: If the presidential
ship attempts to leave that planet...you will fire.
[She turns her head away and everyone continues to watch the monitor, though
all it shows is a hazy view of the planet.]
[Scene changes slowly to show the Liberator stationary above the planet, then
switches back to the flight deck. The atmosphere is taut. The crew are occupying various flight positions and everyone seems
agitated. Zen 'bleeps' and Tegan is visibly startled by the sound.]
ZEN: The battle cruiser
has requested clearance and is preparing to launch.
AVON: Have you received
any communication from Reverence?
AVON: Then we must
finish what we started...Soolin?
[He gestures at the button in front of her. She hesitates, glances once more
at the screen, then reaches for the button. Abruptly the comm channel chimes. Soolin exhales loudly as she drops her hand.]
Liberator this is Reverence. Mission successful. Open the doors we're coming home!
[Most of the crew are either seated in the pit area or are standing nearby,
except for Avon. He is leaning on the wall by one of the entranceways, distancing himself.]
VILA: ...Nial creeping
up on us again. I really thought I'd had it when the 'thing' fell over me!
NIAL: I thought I'd
had it when your light vanished! I daren't call out in case the Feds were already in the tunnels.
GARUS: it was good
to see you again anyway.
VILA: It would have
been good to see you, it was pitch black at the time!
GARUS: Never mind
Vila. Remember, Life is...
VILA: I know...just
a game. At least we won this round.
NIAL: Yes, we won.
We succeeded in recapturing the weapon. It won't bring back those we've lost but maybe it will ease the way for those of us
left behind to continue the fight.
[There are nods of tired agreement as Nial rises and makes his way across
MAGS: We missed coming
face to face with the President again. Perhaps we'll never find out who he is, maybe we're not supposed to.
NIAL: Maybe it was
just the wrong time and place.
MAGS: Maybe. [She
smiles] And now we must go onwards and upwards my friend.
NIAL: That sounds
like something Tam would have said.
I miss him too Nial.
[He pats her shoulder gently then walks away to speak to Avon.]
NIAL: I've given the
co-ordinates to Orac, all you have to do is be there to meet us in eighteen days time.
AVON: And field-test
the new weapon, once it is fitted.
NIAL: I wouldn't want
you to get bored and wander off.
[He begins to walk out into the corridor but Avon steps in front of him.]
AVON: To what do I
owe this sudden display of trust?
NIAL: I have to assess
the situation on Phenox. It may be some kind of trap, we'd be foolish to all go running in. I need Kim and Dalma to verify
Morgon's claim of resistance to Pylene fifty. Soolin will be piloting the Rev, with Tegan's assistance of course. [He smiles]
Who else would I leave in charge of the Liberator?
AVON: With Mags, Garus
and Vila to watch me.
NIAL: To help you...look
Avon, I have to trust you some time. I'd just rather it didn't come down to a time when my life was on the line, then find
out that I was wrong in my choice after all.
[He sighs wearily and Avon moves aside to let him leave. When the corridor
is quiet, Avon smiles grimly to himself.]
AVON: Blake would
have been proud of you.